Still, this is one of the reasons why I draft longhand and leave my house to do so. No frakking around on the computer, no spider solitaire, no organizing my files. No "I'll just watch this episode of TV...as research." Just get out of the house and write.
So, last night I'm at the library, and back at the A/V counter they have a trivia question up each day. If you know the answer, you get, like, a Starburst or something. It's fun. I was waiting in line, and while the employee was unlocking the DVD cases, the woman in front of me turned and asked if I knew the answer to the question - "Who founded the Sundance Film Festival in 1978?" I told her the answer - Robert Redford. She asked, "Why is Sundance important?" So I started to answer - "It was one of the first ways for independent filmmakers to have an opportunity to present their work and potentially find a larger audience--"
And then the A/V employee, a young man probably around my age, turned around and talked right over me. "Sundance was one of the first festivals that exhibited independent films. Studios could buy them and distribute them, and that wouldn't have been possible before." And the woman in front of me nodded, smiled at him, took her movies, and left.
I mutely gave the man my DVDs and card, waited for him to unlock them and check them out, and walked away. I didn't make any small talk like I usually do, and I certainly didn't answer the question. And as much as I would have liked to say something, I knew there was no point. Sure, you could probably say he didn't even realize he had done it, and that calling someone on that is the only way they'll learn, but I did not have the patience for it right then. But if I had decided to say something? Here's what I would have said:
"Buddy, I studied film at USC. My professors included Leonard Maltin, Tom Holman, Todd Boyd, and Drew Casper. I actually worked on a documentary short that played independent festivals. DO NOT MANSPLAIN SUNDANCE TO ME."
(Now, if you're saying to yourself, "Jeez, Shannon sounds a little full of herself there," don't. I'm working as a substitute teacher. I'm $45,000 in debt and had to move back in with my parents. I drive a 1994 Plymouth Voyager, for Christ's sake. But goddamnit, I know about movies.)
(I kind of feel like Sigourney Weaver in Galaxy Quest, when Tim Allen yells at her to stop repeating everything the computer says. "I have one job on this ship, and it's stupid, but I'm gonna do it!")